Cinzia Forasiepi

App Swap – Reflection – Spring 2015

First of all, thank you for organizing this type of projects where we can meet and work closely with other people at SSU. It was enlightening to talk with the other members of our group and share our use of Educational Apps in the classroom for such different courses and with a variety of student types.
I hope that Faculty Center keeps offering this kind of opportunities in the future.

Knowing more about how to use Apps in my course did impact my teaching. This semester I tried a few Apps using Moodle as the support platform. Even though my course is face-to-face, we all realized that there is space for using Apps in the classroom. We used Padlets to do brainstorming of ideas, Poll Everywhere to do a quick assessments, and VoiceThreads for recording mini-lectures and allowing students to comment on the slides. In class, students could access these Apps using their own devices, since I do not have iPads available.

Students reacted enthusiastically at the idea of responding/interacting using their phone or tablets and seeing their answers directly on the big screen, as they were responding or generating questions/ideas (Padlets and Poll Everywhere). It seemed like they were more interested in participating, than using the traditional whole class discussion.

When I asked for their feedback about using VoiceThreads, they responded that they liked to watch a presentation that was narrated by the instructor. They also liked to comment on the slides and reading their peers’ responses. They said that VoiceThreads can be used to review a concept that was done in class, or as a reference.

I placed the link in our Moodle page where they could access it any time they wanted. I used a VoiceThread one week that I could not go to class. When we met again the following week, we were able to start our conversation from the content of that VoiceThread.

My students are all candidate teachers so they had many ideas on how to use Educational Apps in their own classrooms, which are becoming more and more tech-supported. In those classrooms where students have iPads or Chrome Books, they would use interactive Apps to keep students interested and motivated to collaborate at a project or to respond to questions for a quick assessment. They said they would use VoiceThreads, to record their own mini-lectures that would be available for students as a review. Or students could record their own presentations for other students or for a project. They even thought that a VoiceThread could function as a newsletter to reach out to parents and get their feedback.

This project, not only impacted my teaching, but it impacted my students’ future teaching as well. Using Educational Apps in my course was like modeling tech-based teaching strategies that my candidate teachers can use again in their own teaching. It raised great questions about the use of technology not as an end in itself, but as a means to strengthen meaningful interaction among students and between teacher and students as well as between teacher and families.